Broadweigh Bluetooth tops the bill at Newcastle Theatre Royal

Newcastle Theatre Royal is a grade 1 listed building located in the heart of the city. An iconic venue, it’s been entertaining audiences since the early 1800s. Today, it brings some of the very best touring theatre to the region, with recent productions including 42nd Street, Jesus Christ Superstar and Ocean at the End of the Lane.

With touring shows getting heavier as they replicate what audiences see on the West End stage, the theatre was concerned about visiting companies hanging too much weight on their Front of House bars and needed a way to quickly and accurately check what was being suspended.

Deputy Stage Manager, Lee Bowman, contacted AC-ET for advice, and a quote for Broadweigh’s Bluetooth system.

The theatre made an initial purchase of Broadweigh Bluetooth shackles from AC-ET in September 2022, and was so pleased with the product’s performance, the team decided to acquire additional units. Lee commented: “We really rated the units that we already had and they were invaluable in the day to day running of the theatre as they allow the experienced in house tech crew to continually monitor the rigging points and ensure that the appropriate weight levels are adhered to at all times.”

In such a fast-paced industry with show load ins and get outs happening on a weekly basis, the system needed to be quick and easy to use, flexible and cost effective. By using Broadweigh Bluetooth shackles, the stage management and technical team can work in close collaboration with all visiting production companies to maintain the integrity and safety of the venue’s rigging infrastructure, mitigating the risks associated with overloading, while also preserving the longevity and structural stability of the iconic building.

Broadweigh’s Bluetooth system is a 3.25 tonne shackle with integrated Bluetooth low energy 4.0 that provides high precision, static weighing direct to the Broadweigh App. The app is available for iOS or Android and contains all the tools required to configure and display data from the shackles in range and requires no other accessories. Using the bow from a standard shackle, Broadweigh Blue can transmit up to 90m with calibrated units included in the transmitted values.

Ben Steppenbeck of AC-ET explained; “Whilst it would be technically possible to check the loads on the building without the Broadweigh system, the level of accuracy and peace of mind they give is unmatched. The risk of doing this can potentially mean making lengthy and likely inaccurate calculations on the weight of the equipment and cabling that visiting companies are using.” He added: “Unfortunately getting these calculations wrong and overloading the FOH points could have potentially catastrophic consequences.”

Ben concluded: “Our experience is that uptake of load monitoring products in environments like this is relatively slow in the UK. We are however encouraged to see wonderful venues like Newcastle Theatre Royal invest in systems that take away guess work and allow for total peace of mind when welcoming the best productions to the stage.”

Distributor Details
A.C. Entertainment Technologies Ltd. (AC-ET)